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Health care workers' injuries can also harm patients

Patients in California hospitals will always be at risk of infections, medication errors and more. However, few people realize that the hazards faced by health care workers can ultimately harm the patients. Manual lifting forms a significant part of any caregiver's day, and the musculoskeletal injuries they suffer could put patients at risk of bruises, fractures and skin tears suffered from falls.

Along with their duties to lift and turn patients, health care workers face hazards like falls from slips and trips, needlestick injuries, and exposure to hazardous chemicals. Furthermore, they work in an unpredictable environment in which combative and agitated patients and visitors threaten their safety. Most caregivers will risk their own health and safety to help patients because their ethical duties will not allow them to harm patients.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says health care workers are more likely than workers in manufacturing or construction to suffer injuries that cause lost work time. Knowing the risks can have an adverse effect on the morale of caregivers who become emotionally and physically fatigued. Many health care workers continue working despite the pain for fear of losing their jobs.

The California workers' compensation insurance program offer benefits to injured health care workers. Along with compensation to cover medical bills, the benefits typically include wage replacement to cover a percentage of lost wages. To simplify the benefits claims process, some injured caregivers utilize the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney who can navigate the administrative and legal processes on behalf of the injured workers and improve the chances of receiving maximum benefits.

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